Curing His Performance Anxiety
Wade Berdeaux was a fully-loaded pistol, and the quickest way to trip his trigger was to call him a dumb jock.
Just because he was Du Bois High’s starting quarterback, and just because he’d been scouted out by several sports-conscious universities, didn’t make him stupid by any means.
No, his grades alone did that. But God help the man or boy who told him that to his face. Chances were they’d live to regret it rather quickly. Wade was prone to punch first, think things through afterward.
Wade wasn’t stupid, far from it. In fact, he considered himself to be rather intelligent. But there were some kinds of smarts that didn’t show up on standardized tests, and his was one of them. He knew things, he understood the subjects he took. But when it came to putting those facts down on paper, he quickly became mired in his own discombobulation.
Don’t anyone dare say performance anxiety to Wade’s face.
Still, grades were the litmus test which would decide whether or not he’d be able to pursue his dreams. Grades and test scores. To be more specific, the test scores received by the taking of certain college placement tests, aka the ACT and the SAT. Once upon a time, colleges would help their less academically proficient athletes, more concerned with winning games than furthering their players’ education, by enrolling them in throw-away classes which didn’t challenge their intelligence, allowing them to acquire much-coveted sheepskins.
Those days were gone.
Wade was expected to attain a score of at least 25 on the ACT for two major reasons. One being in order to obtain admission to the college of his father’s choosing, the second being to avoid his father’s wrath should he fail to obtain goal number one. His father had made it painfully clear to him that he had to buckle down and study, or the consequences would not be pretty. Jefferson Berdeaux had plans for his son, and no excuse extant would be sufficient should Wade fail live up to his expectations.
His father also had quick fists. Painful fists.
The trouble was, Wade had failed the test already. Twice. He’d studied for it diligently, but when push came to shove and he was faced with the reality of the paper and pencil before him, he froze. He was about to take the damn thing for the third time on Saturday. For that reason, his father had hired a tutor for him. Which in itself was humiliating enough, but to make matters worse, he’d hired the biggest geek in Wade’s class.
Just thinking about the boy made Wade shudder. The opposite of Wade in every way, he was thin, non-muscular, non-athletic, near-sighted in a distinctly nerdish way, badly dressed, and lacking in every imaginable social skill. What the girls referred to as a pity date, except Wade was pretty sure he’d never found anyone who’d date him. At least not in Wade’s memory.
To add insult to injury, they were studying up in Wade’s room, as if even his father didn’t want to be burdened with the sight of the geek. To lessen the chance of distraction, his father said, hijacking his cellphone for the duration of the study session. Probably afraid one of Wade’s friends might call and distract him. Or, heaven forbid, plot to free him for his academic captivity. Now that couldn’t happen.
The first two nights of studying had not gone well. Garland had basically talked to him the first night, like a broken record, pounding in facts, figures, dates and events ‘til Wade thought he’d puke. The second night, he’d brought sample tests he’d prepared himself, based on the four parts of the ACT. Wade had scored badly on them, of course, choking up at every question.
Tonight was the last night. Now it was do or die. Wade sure as hell didn’t want to die. But he also didn’t see how he was gonna do it, either.
He sat at his desk, his eyes fixed on yet another test, not seeing it. Wishing it would go away. He ran a thick hand through his short brown locks and groaned.
“Can’t we take a break?”
“No, are you kidding?”
Wade swiveled his head to regard the speaker. Garland looked every inch the nerd. He wore a white button down shirt, and dark pants that would have benefited from a belt to cinch them about his slender waist. A bow tie wouldn’t have appeared out of place, Wade thought, but he didn’t voice his opinion. As he watched, the dark-haired boy pushed his glasses further up his long, pale nose, glaring at Wade with piercing blue eyes. Wade fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat, stretching cramped muscles.
Garland had been pacing behind him as he wrote, which didn’t help Wade’s situation; he’d been tempted to order him to sit, but thought better of it. He paced across the room in long strides, stopped, pivoted and headed back. He looked at Wade again, sighed, and took a seat on the bed.
“I think I need a new strategy,” Wade heard him mumble to himself.
“Wade, you need to relax more. Your problem is you let the test frighten you, but you shouldn’t. There’s no reason to be scared of it.”
“That’s what you think.”
“No, that’s what I know. Answering questions shouldn’t be painful.”
“You don’t know my dad,” Wade muttered.
Garland plopped onto Wade’s bed, chewing thoughtfully at his lower lip. A few moments of silence elapsed between them. “C’mere,” he said at last, patting the bed beside him. “And bring one of the tests.”
Wade pushed back from his desk, lumbered to his feet, and lurched across the room. He flopped into the space indicated, giving Garland a wary look even as he handed him the paper. What was this guy up to?
“You’ve got to get over the idea that test are scary, so I’m going to teach you to associate them with something else. Something more pleasurable.”
“What do you mean?” Wade gave him a baffled look.
“What I mean is that I’ll show you that taking tests can be fun.”
Wade snorted. “I don’t think so, ‘cause it’s not.”
“You’ll see. Pavlov 101. Take off your shirt.”
“What? What the hell for?”
Garland gave him a wide-eyed gaze. “To relax you, of course. Your tension’s running all through your muscles. Let me loosen them a little. I know something about massages.”
Wade was pretty sure that no proctor at the ACT site would be willing to go this route, but at the moment he couldn’t think of a reason why not, so he pulled his T-shirt over his head and tossed it onto the floor.
Garland quickly kicked off his tennis shoes, then crawled onto the bed, positioning himself behind Wade. The next thing Wade knew, he felt Garland’s hands on his shoulders, rubbing them. His touch was surprisingly nice. For being a boy, that is. And a geek.
“Pick up the paper,” Garland commanded.
Wade obeyed, careful not to move away from the aegis of that soothing touch. “Now what?”
“Read the first question, and then answer it.”
Wade obeyed, giving the first response that came to mind.
“That’s correct,” Garland said, his hands moving down along Wade’s spine, kneading the solid flesh. “Go on.”
Wade answered the next question correctly.
“Good boy,” Garland cooed, his hands curling around Wade’s waist, continuing with his ministrations.
Encouraged, Wade continued to read and answer the test questions. When he didn’t know the answer, or guessed wrong, Garland would withhold his touch. But oh, when he got it right, then he was treated to the soothing hands he was thoroughly coming to enjoy.
They reached the end of the first test, and for the first time since they’d started studying, Wade passed most of the questions. Not a perfect score, but he didn’t really need a perfect score, nor did anyone expect it from him.
“You deserve something special for that.”
Wade turned his head at Garland’s words, wondering what he meant, wondering what that something special might be. He watched as Garland removed his glasses, setting them carefully on the bedside table. His eyes were even bluer without the obstruction of the spectacles. Somehow, up close and personal, he seemed less geeky to Wade too.
Before he could ask, his unspoken question was answered when Garland pressed his mouth against Wade’s and kissed him. Wade’s first instinct was to push him away, even as his brain went what the fuck. But he didn’t. Not right away. And the longer the kiss went on, the harder it got to think about breaking it off. Sure he’d been kissed before, and he’d kissed people back. But this was way different. Especially the part where Garland was a guy and all.
When they finally came up for air, they were both panting.
“You did good, Wade,” Garland praised him. “Let’s go on. With the test, I mean.”
“You mean if I keep doing good like this, I’ll get more of that?” Wade’s eyes widened, his cock involuntarily hardening at the thought.
“That and more,” the brunet assured him. “In fact, why don’t you lose the pants now? Save time?”
Save time for what?
Wade didn’t bother asking stupid questions. He was a horny teenage boy who wanted to pass the ACT more than anything else, and if this is what it took, then who was he to argue? He stood, quickly toeing off his own tennis shoes, before unzipping his jeans, and pulling them down over his muscular legs, followed by his underwear. He left the socks on for good measure.
Garland looked him up and down, nodding his approval. “Very nice,” he commented. “Next question.”
Eagerly, Wade resumed his position on the bed, Garland kneeling behind him, pressed against him. He read out the next few questions, then answered them. For the first correct response, Garland placed his hand over one of Wade’s nipples, brushing over it with the palm. Wade moaned.
He moaned even louder when Garland twisted his body and took that same nipple into his mouth and sucked on it.
And when Garland’s head began to bob up and down in Wade’s lap, sucking with all his might on Wade’s very hard cock, he thought he’d died and gone to heaven.
He came quickly, without having time to warn Garland of the fact, but the other boy didn’t seem to mind. He lapped it up, like a contented cat with a bowl of cream, gently kissing the head, before he sat up again, taking the test paper back.
“All done, I see,” he commented, to Wade’s disappointment. “I think you’ll do just fine tomorrow, Wade. I think you’ll get at least a 25. Maybe higher.”
“Really?” Some of Wade’s anxiety returned, hovering about the edges. “But how do you know? I mean, you won’t be there, and you won’t be… doing this… So, how do you know?” He couldn’t afford to freeze up, not now. And he sure wasn’t about to ask the proctor to suck his cock in order to relax him.
“Because you have another reward coming when you’re through.” Garland smiled.
“Oh? And just what would that reward be?” Wade stared intently into Garland’s big blue eyes, waiting for his response, his breathing becoming more and more intense.
Garland rose up on his knees, crawling closer to Wade. He placed both of his pale, slight hands on either side of Wade’s face, and pulled him in for a long, hard kiss, one that left them both breathless. Placing his lips against Wade’s ear, he whispered, “Because after the test, if you do good, I’m going to fuck your brains out.”
Wade’s body shivered, frissons of anticipation skirling through every nerve ending he possessed. “I’ll do real good on the test,” he promised, his whole opinion of and attitude toward Garland Gilburt having just done a complete backflip. From nerd to sex buddy.
Whodathinkit? Just went to show, you sure couldn’t judge a book by its cover…
Wade was gonna pass that test, or else. And then… and then… Oh, then…
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